Female Snowy Owl on top of a hydro pole.

Snowy Owl – A little Info

Snowy Owl on hydro pole
Snowy Owl(Bubo scandiacus)

It’s now 2019, January has brought in some very cold weather and getting even colder. I have a lot of respect for these animals that have to survive in these cold temperatures, specially for Snowy Owls (Bubo scandiacus). This girl is still young but not in a birth year as the markings have moved away from her facial plate. Her ear tufts are perked up and attention is on me for a brief moment although not because she’s stressed due to me, there were crows close by that were trying to bother her.

Unlike most other owl’s they hunt during the daylight hours as they are diurnal. There main diet is small rodents but they are opportunistic hunters and will feast on other small mammals. If say eating mice, they would need seven to twelve per day to meet there food requirements. They are very territorial specially once food gets scarce or have a nest near by, they will often chase other owls away and there seems to be some respect for the older owls in a sense.

They spend our winter’s to the south but breed and spend our summers in the Arctic. Once the owlets are born the father will be extremely busy collecting food for mom and the owlets plus himself. Food can be very tough to find up there. Mom and Dad will have to defend the nest which is surprisingly on the ground against Arctic Foxes, Corvids, Jaegers; as well as dogs, Gray Wolves, and other predators.

     Dark Blue = Breeding      Light Blue = Non Breeding
By www.iucnredlist.org, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19605003

From year to year you may think you see the same bird as the previous winter season but that’s a very rare occurrence as they can be located anywhere from the Arctic to even more southern regions of the USA. This information is collected by tagging the birds from year to year.

Owls eyes are actually shaped like a tube and can’t move in there sockets which is why there heads can rotate a total of 270 degrees. There bodies are 52–71 cm (20–28 in) long, with a 125–150 cm (49–59 in) wingspan. Also, they can weigh anywhere from 1.6 to 3 kg (3.5 to 6.6 lb). The average lifespan in the wild is ten years and twelve in captivity.

Hopefully I haven’t bored you too much with this burage of info